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Baffled by boxes

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  • Baffled by boxes

    Can anyone give me a brief synopsis of how the box and dimensional weight functions are supposed to work?

    We have a very old version of software running our store that we are looking to upgrade to 3.2X, so I signed up for a 15 day trial in order to test some of these new features.

    Anyway, I have a 23lb product. I have specified the max box weight to be 70lb (the UPS and FedEx Ground limit), and I have specified the product dimensions to be 27x27x18 inches. Item does not ship by itself.

    When I calculate shipping for this item, the resulting shipping costs are bizzare. These are the shipping costs I get when I change the item quantity from 1-4:

    qty=1 - $33.80
    qty=2 - $22.40
    qty=3 - $28.00
    qty=4 - $67.60

    I cannot figure out what this is telling me. Why is it cheaper to ship two or three items than it is to ship one? Why does the cost more than double if I go from 3-4 items (yes, I did notice that the shipping cost for 4 is 2x the cost for one - but why?).

    If I make a minor tweak to one of the package dimensions to be 27x27x9 inches, this is what I get:

    qty=1 - $20.37
    qty=2 - $22.04
    qty=3 - $28.08
    qty=4 - $48.45

    If anyone can shed some light on how the shipping api uses these parameters to calculate the shipping rate, I would certainly appreciate it.

  • #2
    No one knows how this is supposed to work?:confused: Anyone at 3DC care to comment?


    • #3
      Vey odd numbers. However I am sure it has to do with how the code accounts for the oversize limits for UPS / Fedex.

      Note that UPS changed the dimensional weight rules this year. multiply L X W X H and if over 5184, then divide by 166 to find the dimensional weight.

      The first box size you mention is way oversize . counts as 84 lbs

      so for one item you are getting the oversize rate.
      It seems like the system forgets about the box size when it is calculating the costs for shipping multiple items. So it goes by weight not size. Hence the cheaper rates.
      I would guess this is a bug in the code. Please verify and submit a ticket.

      When you decrease the size your are 40 lbs dimensional weight. two items are 46 lbs so again by weight and a little more than one item, same for 3 items and then it goes to two boxes. when you get to 4 items it is 2 boxes.


      • #4
        We are seeing the same thing for FedEx Express shipments... Qty=1 yeilds a high-but-expected rate. Qty=2 yields a much lower rate and then the rates slowly rise as qty is increased...

        Here's what 3DCart says about the issue:

        This may be because the actual item dimensions are only included if only 1 item is in the cart. If more than one item is in the cart, the dimensions are sent to the Fedex API as "1x1x1". This will cause an issue for some shipping methods that use air transport, as "space" (dimensions) is as much a factor as weight since space is at a premium when shipped via air. Unfortunately, we do not support dimensional shipping at this time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

        ... I don't know about you, but that seems downright crazy to me. I can understand not supporting dimensional shipping for multiple quantities (can of worms there...), but what justification could there be for resetting the box volumne to 1"x1"x1" ?


        • #5
          Dimensional Weight-Ships by Self

          3D only calculates based on dimensional weight if you select "Ships by Self" for a product.


          • #6
            I just found a similar problem and submitted a ticket. We had a customer order two items via priority mail. She was charged $9.35, but the actual shipping was $22. When I looked further, I found that one item was oversize by priority mail standards and by itself it would cost $22 to ship, and it comes up correctly by itself in a cart. Add another item to it and it dropped $13 - based on the weight alone! This is going to get costly for us.

            I did submit a ticket and got the following response:

            "This occurs because we do not support dimensional shipping quotes when more than one items is added to the cart, as this would require the additional functionality of being able to configure shipping container sizes that are used for shipping so that we could send a quote request with those dimensions.

            The quote is accurate with one item in the cart because the actual dimensions are sent in the quote request. When more than one items is added the dimensions are sent as the default of 1 x 1 x 1."

            This is horrible news. I wish the item with the largest dimensions, or at least longest length was submitted for a rate quote. Not sure what I'll do now.